By Emmanuel Yinka Fagbenle and Clara Nchekwube Aghasili -Lingo
The Plateau State Information and Communication Technology Development Agency (PICTDA) hopes to build on its Code Plateau initiative following an invitation from the World Bank to see how the global financial institution could support the state-funded capacity building scheme.
The invitation is the fallout of the presentation by the Director General of PICTDA, Mr. Daser David during one of the panel discussions at the just ended eNigeria, the flagship annual ICT summit organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in collaboration with public and private sectors’stakeholders.
The two-day event with the theme: ‘National Digital Economy’ was declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the nation’s administrative capital city.The chief host and convener for eNigeria 2019 is the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Pantami while the event’s host and convener is NITDA’s Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
David was one of the eNigeria’s speakers at the panel on Creating New Job Opportunities Through Developmental Regulation. Other members of the panel are Director, International Labour Organization, ECOWAS Region, Dennis Zulu; DG, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi; Postmaster General and CEO, NIPOST, Barr Bisi Adegbuyi; CEO, FinTrak Software Company LLC, Mr Bimbo Abioye; and Barr Ibrahim Atahir of Attaufeeq Chambers.
“I would say Code Plateau got the most attraction at eNigeria. [We] got us an invitation with the World Bank for a further discussion. This is where we wanted to be six months ago when we set out to plan our strategy for developing youth talents in Plateau State.
“Whether it would turn out positive in the long run or not, it would depend on how much hard work and seriousness we put into this discussion with the global bank. Most importantly is that our efforts is yielding the attraction we envisaged,” posted David just after his session and rewarding interration with the Lead Governance Specialist of the World Bank Group, Parminder Brar at eNigeria.
The Code Plateau is an eight months full-time immersive training designed to create employment for young Plateau State graduates who want to start their career in IT and kick-start their portfolio of real-life projects that utilizes modern technology stacks.
PICTDA designed Code Plateau as one of the human resource developments and training schemes the agency is embarking on to address the high skill shortage in ICT to help fill the national IT skill vacuum.
Nigeria suffers insufficient numbers of skilled and experienced experts in ICT and in other professions that rely on ICT, PICTDA plans to help fill the gaps and make importing of these needed skills unnecessary, said the PICTDA’s boss.
PICTDA is committed towards delivering human capital development through collaboration and partnerships.
“To the dismay of many, I made mention of the fact that Plateau State is the first and only state with a deliberate effort towards the development of ICT in Nigeria. Ours is an ICT development agency and not an ICT agency.
I also highlighted our programs and intentions towards making Plateau State an IT tourist state and how we are engaging federal agencies like the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) under the leadership of Sir Joseph Ari in the creation of makerspaces and fabrication labs across the country as a tool for creating a productive workforce starting from Plateau State with the support of the State Government, Governor Simon Lalong who has affirmed faith in developing the state’s ICT capacity through his agenda on Plateau State in the Next Level: Policies and Programme of the Rescue Team Phase 2- Sustainable Economic Re-Birth,” added David at the eNigeria venue in Abuja.